I discovered only this morning that I have been off by a week in my morning prayer--praying out of synch as it were. As that is the case, I'll continue being off by a week for this day because of the psalm that speaks so loudly to me right now:
from Psalm 42
Why are you cast down, my soul,
why groan within me?
Hope in God; I will praise Him still,
my savior and my God.
Around me are any number of causes for sorrow and despair. I received alarming and difficult news from a dear friend, for whom I ask your prayers. Matter at work are difficult and require much prayer and reflection. And then there are the larger things wrong--these show up in minor, but still frightening, ways such as the smaller number of advertisements in the Church Bulletin, the "for Rent" sign on the house next door.
Father in heaven, when your strength takes possession of us we no longer say: Why are you cast down, my soul? . . . Inspire us to yearn for you always, like the deer for running streams, unti lyou satisfy every longing in heaven.
Note, every longing in heaven--not all the yearning for peace and certainty that we have here on Earth--but every longing in heaven.
I truly feel the weight of the Chinese curse: "May you live in interesting times." I would that they were less interesting. And yet everything is allowed by God for the purposes of proving us and refining us and making us more capable of heaven. Refinement is always painful, burning away the dross always difficult. And yet our hope is in what is left behind once all of the excess has been done way with.